Friday Fable. Krylov’s “THE ASS AND THE PEASANT”

Posted by jlubans on August 04, 2017

Caption: Silhouette by Egor (Georgi) Narbut (1886-1920) of Mr. Krylov, “Walking in the Park”, 1912.

“A PEASANT, who had hired an Ass for his garden during the summer, set it to drive away the impudent race of crows and of sparrows. The Ass was one of a most honest character, utterly unacquainted with either rapacity or theft. It never profited by a single leaf belonging to its master, and it would indeed be a sin to say that it connived at the proceedings of the birds. Still the Peasant got but little good out of his garden. The Ass, as it chased the birds with all its might, galloped across all the beds, backwards and forwards, in such a manner that it trod underfoot and trampled in pieces everything that grew in the garden.
Seeing then that all his pains were thrown away, the Peasant took a cudgel and revenged himself for his loss on the back of the Ass.
"No wonder! " says every one; " serve the beast right! Was it for a creature of its parts to undertake such a business? "
But I say—though not with the intention of defending the Ass; it was certainly in fault, and it has already paid the penalty—“But I say—though not with the intention of defending the Ass; it was certainly in fault, and it has already paid the penalty—surely he also was to blame who set the Ass to guard his garden.”

I have been known, in the office, to say some outlandish things. For example, when a worker turns toxic. Well, of course, discipline is needed to set the errant soul on the righteous path, but – here’s the outrageous part – what of the supervisor (or in my biz, the committee) who hired the miscreant? Compounding this, as often happens, is the supervisor’s ignoring the bad behavior.
Should not the employer (supervisor or hiring committee) suffer some consequence for making a poor decision and lacking the courage to do something about it? No, redemption is not to be found in the HR solution of promoting the person to an harmless oblivion or transferring said bad apple to another part of the organization. I won’t get into the obvious details of disciplining the delinquent, but what about the people doing the hiring? A free pass? Or, a demotion?
*Source: Krilof and his fables, by Krylov, Ivan Andreevich, 1768-1844; Ralston, William Ralston Shedden, 1828-1889. Tr. London, 1869

N.B. My next book, Fables for Leaders, Ezis Press, comes out in September 2017 as a PDF file ($3.99) and as a soft cover book, ($25.99). Both formats will feature original illustrations by the renowned Béatrice Coron.
ISBN: 978-0-692-90955-3
LCCN: 2017908783
Cover: "Fables for Leaders" PRE-PRINT, 203pp. 2017.
Update. The book has been printed as a Riga edition of 30, numbered copies. Ten have been given to friends and libraries in Latvia. The balance will be sent to review media in the USA.

© Copyright John Lubans 2017

« Prev itemNext item »


No comments yet. You can be the first!

Leave comment